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March 17, 2009

Increasing Access to Quality Food for Children in New Haven

The Connecticut Food Bank and United Way of Greater New Haven are partnering to increase the number of children in New Haven receiving nutritious meals on weekends and during school holidays.

United Way of Greater New Haven worked with a group of community volunteers to discuss the needs in our community around emergency food and food insecurity and to identify possible strategies to address those needs. The Kids BackPack Program was selected for funding because it addresses food insecurity among low-income children in New Haven by working with schools to provide food to children who may not have enough to eat at home on the weekends. Bags are packed with nutritious food such as fresh or canned fruit, cereal bars, peanut butter, and juice.

As an increasing number of families are experiencing economic difficulties, more children face inadequate access to food on the weekends. This partnership has enabled the Connecticut Food Bank to respond to this need by expanding the Kids BackPack Program by 29% in New Haven from the previous year.

Since September, over 2,000 backpacks of food have been distributed to children attending the Wexler Grant School, Katherine Brennan School, Hill Central School, Troup Magnet Academy of Science and Vincent E. Mauro Elementary School in New Haven. In January, The Connecticut Food Bank also implemented this critical service in the West Haven Public School system.

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